La Dolce Vita Cinema Club

Marine Court,
St. Leonards-on-sea, TN38 0DZ

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La Dolce Vita

During 1971, the Dolphin Bingo Club, situated in Marine Court, which is a full scale replica of the Queen Mary, on St. Leonards sea front, was transformed into a luxurious hard core sex cinema club.

It opened with the controversial film “Flesh”, which was the subject of a police raid at its British premier at a similar cinema in London’s Soho district, when the copy was seized.

Each programme consisted entirely of uncensored continental feature films. The club opened six nights a week but closed on Sunday, when bingo still took place and it had two performances each evening and a weekly change of programme. Bingo also continued during the afternoons.

Admission could only be gained by becoming a member due to the strong nature of the programming.

La Dolce Vita immediately had to compete with a similar cinema club in Hastings town centre, when the Eros Cinema Club (later Venus), opened just a mile away and also the adult orientated Orion Cinema in Hastings was also planning to turn to hard core programming. The St. Leonards club closed quietly at the end of 1971.

Contributed by Nick Prince
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